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Dolphin Dive Fremantle

Address: 1 Cantonment Street Fremantle WA 6160
Phone: 08 9336 6286, 08 9335 9969, 0412 412 622
Email: freodive@dolphindiveshop.com

Tags: dive shop, snorkelling, scuba diving, learn to dive, diving, diving equipment

Back in 1992 I took my first Dive Course with a company called Barracuda dive. Some of you will remember those days when they had 3 stores, they were not great at customer service as they had the nasty habit of burning customers and hustling them to make purchases.

After my course I quickly set about finding friendlier people to dive with clocking up about 80 dives that season. I was totally hooked spending every weekend underwater. I soon met a few other like minded people, so in 1993 we clubbed together and bought an old 1975 circa 43 foot wooden boat called 'Christina' which we renamed 'Dolphin Diver 3'. The four partners were myself (Mark Ferguson), Mike Watson, Cliff Hope and Neil Mckleash. Struggling for a long time in a competitive market, with an old boat we gradually built our clientele. By 1996 we purchased our second vessel 'Dawnstar 2', an ali twin engine 40 footer capable of cruising at 19 knots, that made the old 11 knot boat feel really slow!

Eventually the partnership started to break down with Mike and myself buying out the others after selling 'Dolphin Diver 3'. It was now around 1997 and I had been running the 'Dawnstar' for a few years with Mike focusing on his Dive Shop in Welshpool. An opportunity suddenly arose with the Barracuda chain falling bankrupt, the little shop was up for grabs in Fremantle and I dived in (no pun) to become a Dive Store owner too.

Dolphin Dive Fremantle was born with customer service our main focus. It wasn't long before things really got tough, running a store and a boat, but with a loving girlfriend to back me up and great colleagues we struggled on for a number of years scrimping and saving working as an Electrician, running the boat and shop trying to build a sustainable business. We definitely did the hard yards, working 100 hour weeks with little reward other than our love of Diving.

After a few engine failures with 'Dawnstar' the dream of owning my own boat were nearly shattered, but the boat partnership ideas were diverging and I bought my own 38 footer 'Sea Dragon' in 1999. The Training Centre was the next project in 2000 and once that hurdle was overcome another boat was on the horizon that could take enough divers to handle Mike's shop needs due to his decision to sell 'Dawnstar'. So with permission from Debs we purchased 'Vortex' a 58 foot fibreglass cray fishing boat that I converted to charter. With capacity for 35 divers we could now offer a service that was more comfortable in windy weather with a bit of speed as well. The shops were getting busier also with Debs at the helm and me quitting my electrical career to concentrate on the 'Vortex' gave us more of a life outside work to go diving for fun!

'Jaws' came and went as other second boat options were tried, but with an offer on 'Vortex' out of the blue, saw us with no boat. So we tried running two 28 foot RIB's for a while until a suitable vessel came on the market. It wasn't long before 'SeaLion' our current 75 foot boat crossed our paths and with a few mod's she now is quite a successful dive boat.

Our heart is still focused on customer service and over the years we have had some fantastic experiences diving around Western Australia and the Pacific. We look forward to the future of the diving industry and the opportunity to keep improving Dolphin Dive Fremantle, to look after our staff, our customers and the environment.

Regards Mark and Debs

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